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Does Cannabis Help or Hinder Creativity?

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Consumption of marijuana is often linked to a spike in creativity. Individuals who are active consumers of recreational cannabis, often swear by its creativity enhancing effects. Additionally, a number of creative people such as artists, musicians, etc. are at the forefront of the claim that cannabis amplifies creativity. Therefore, there is a whole culture that has developed around this trope. However, is it true? Not many people know how and why this happens. Although there is evidence about this, let us find out what science has to say about it.

How does it work?

There are a number of ways that cannabis affects us, which can be the possible reason for enhanced creativity. Research has shown that cannabis consumption increases the blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobe, thus making it active. Scientifically backed evidence shows that creativity is linked to the frontal lobe. A 1992 experiment in the Berkley Medical Journal, found that the cerebral blood flow increased after the consumption of cannabis. This increased cerebral blood flow stimulates creativity in two ways. Firstly, it leads to the activation of the area around the brain’s nucleus accumbens, which are connected to increased creativity. Secondly, the creative divergent thinking occurs in the frontal lobe, and is hence stimulated through marijuana consumption.

Divergent thinking refers to the method through which our brain generates creative ideas. This happens when the brain explores multiple possible solutions, and mainly occurs in a non-linear, spontaneous, and free-flowing way. Therefore, divergent thinking is achieved through brainstorming spontaneously, and this leads to the development of various out of the box ideas. Since cannabis consumption triggers divergent thinking, many artists who are engaged in the creative fields like to consume it. Additionally, since certain cannabis strains help with relaxation, and stress management, it gives the consumers a free mind to engage in creative thinking practices.

Dosage for optimum result

A study conducted in 2014 reported that in order to maximize creativity from cannabis, dosage is the most important thing. The study reported that those who were given low doses of cannabis, with 5.5mg THC, showed improved creativity after consumption. The fluency of their divergent thinking improved, along with their ability to provide variations in their answers. Their answers were highly original and unique. However, once the dosage was increased to 22mg of THC, their scores were considerably lower than before. This shows that higher doses of THC can have the opposite effect on individuals by hindering their creativity.

However, not all strains are the same. Due to the differences in the terpene and cannabinoids. Some of the best strains for creativity are: Jack Herer, Kali Mist, Purple Haze, Chemdog, Berry White, Tangie, etc.

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It can be gathered that cannabis could affect our levels of creativity. Although there is limited research and evidence on this, most users vouch for it. So if you feel that cannabis could help you be more creative, you could experiment with specific strains. However, it is important to keep in mind that limited doses affect creativity better.

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